Well protected! Prince Harry wears helmet and knee-pads as he plays polo in California tournament… just weeks after his barb about him protecting the Queen
Prince Harry was supported by his wife as he took to the polo field in California again this weekend with just a fortnight to go until the Sussexes jet to the UK.
The Duke of Sussex might have turned his back on Britain, but he is still committed to one of its most traditional sports.
And his American wife appeared to be having a great time, laughing as her British royal husband limbered up before Saturday’s match, holding his polo mallet for him as he stretched.
The Duchess of Sussex, who was listed as H. Wales in the four-player line-up with his friend Nacho Figueras, also carried her husband’s cap before he got on his horse, but the couple’s two young children appear to have stayed at home.
The prince recently joined polo team Los Padres, having played the sport for most of his life after learning in the UK with his brother William. The club is run by his friend Nacho, who said he was ‘excited’ for the duke to join the ranks.
Harry has signed up to a whole season of polo, but he will be taking a break to come to the UK for his grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee in early June. There are tensions with his family after he chose another US TV interview to take another transatlantic potshot last month after he declared after a visit to see the Queen at Windsor with Meghan: ‘I’m making sure she’s protected and got the right people around her’, despite choosing to live 5,000 miles away.
Meghan, Archie and Lilibet will also jet to London, although they have not been invited to join full time royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Trooping the Colour on June 2.
Last night the Queen kicked off celebrations to mark her extraordinary 70 years on the throne. Her Majesty was all smiles as she watched an all-star lineup including Dame Helen Mirren, Tom Cruise and Katherine Jenkins perform at the Royal Windsor Horse Show alongside equestrian, military and musical talent from all over the world.
The Duke of Sussex was listed as H. Wales on the team sheet as he continued the polo season in California for his team Los Padres
Harry was supported by his wife Meghan at Saturday’s chukka – but it is understood their children stayed at home
The royal has signed up for an entire season of polo this year – but will be taking a break to head to the UK for his grandmother’s platinum jubilee
Queen Elizabeth II arrives for ‘A Gallop Through History’ Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show last night
Meghan was seen holding her husband’s polo mallet and had as he limbered up for the event
Harry was playing at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria on the California coast north of Los Angeles
The Duke, picture centre, is able to drive there from his Montecito mansion in less than 10 minutes
Harry (far right) was watched by people who have bought condos overlooking the pitch. There was a sparse crowd otherwise
The Duke of Sussex (pictured centre in green) lines up at the beginning of Saturday’s match
Harry, 37, grew up playing the game with his older brother Prince William. And has enjoyed this pursuit since emigrating
The Duke of Sussex races to chase the ball along with a teammate
The royal was well protected from injury by a wide array of pads, helmet and goggle
The ball passes the royal as he rides watched by his wife, who wore white shorts and a loose white shirt
Although a friend of the couple insisted yesterday they didn’t want to be on there anyway.
The Duke of Sussex was in his element as he played a friendly game of polo with his old friend Nacho Figueras on Saturday. Harry, 37, grew up playing the game with his older brother Prince William.
And he showed he still has a keen interest since moving to the US, playing with professional polo player and face of Ralph Lauren Figueras at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club for the annual Harry East Memorial Tournament.
The club is not far from Montecito, where Harry and wife Meghan live with their two children, Archie, who turns three on Friday, and Lilibet, ten months.
Figueras was among the guests at Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018.
He is an ambassador of Sentebale – an organisation founded by the Prince – which is dedicated to helping children and young people who or whose family’s suffer with HIV and AIDs in Lesotho, South Africa.
Harry recently attended the Invictus Games at The Hague in the Netherlands with Meghan.
During their trip they also made a secret visit to the UK, where they visited the Queen at Windsor Castle.
In an interview with US network NBC’s Today Show last month, Harry said he wants to ensure that his grandmother is ‘protected’ and has the ‘right people around her’.
The Queen will use her Platinum Jubilee to emphasise national unity, sending members of her family to all four corners of the realm.
Conscious that many of the celebrations are London-centric – and against a backdrop in which the SNP finished as the biggest party in last week’s Scottish council elections – the monarch has agreed for senior members of the Royal Family to visit the nations of the United Kingdom over the extended bank holiday weekend in June.
They will be led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who will visit Wales.
This is a significant choice given that William and Kate will, in the next few years, become the next Prince and Princess of Wales.
Meanwhile the Earl and Countess of Wessex – Prince Edward and his wife Sophie – will visit Northern Ireland, while Princess Anne will go to Scotland given her particularly affinity with the country.
A week earlier Prince Harry was seen semi-shirtless by onlookers at the polo in Santa Barbara as he swapped shirts and had sun cream applied before a warm-up by an aide
Last month, around 30 Netflix crew joined the couple at the Invictus Games, in The Netherlands, It is being reported that the Netflix crew will be excluded from royal properties during jubilee events
The Monarch is joined on the Buckingham Palace balcony by members of the royal family for the Jubilee in 2019. Prince Andrew, who was at his mother’s left hand that day, has also been excluded from this year’s event
She holds a raft of Scottish patronages, including patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, and is known by some as the ‘unofficial Queen of Scots’.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will remain in London with the Queen.
There will, of course, be no roles for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of York, both of whom have now stepped down a working royals.
Not all of the weekend celebrations will be in the capital.
More than 60,000 Big Jubilee Lunches are being held on Sunday June 5 involving millions of people in communities the length and breadth of the UK.
Ranging from world record attempts for the longest street party to back garden BBQs – as well as 600 international events from Canada to Brazil, New Zealand to Japan and South Africa and Switzerland – they are designed to encourage ‘friendship, food and fun’.
On June 2 Jubilee beacons will also be lit in 2,000 towns, villages and cities throughout the UK, Channel Islands Isle of Man, and UK Overseas Territories, as well as each of the capital cities across the Commonwealth.
But each of the four main events – Trooping the Colour, the service of thanksgiving, the Party at the Palace and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant – are in London.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘Over the course of the Central Weekend, Members of the Royal Family will visit the Nations of the United Kingdom to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Members of the Royal Family will attend engagements in each nation, including public events marking the occasion.’ Further details of the visits will be revealed in the coming weeks.